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House to reject debt limit increase without cuts

WASHINGTON — The GOP-led House is poised to reject a bill Tuesday to increase the nation’s debt limit without the big spending cuts that Republicans are demanding. The move is intended as an embarrassing reminder to Democrats that increasing the government’s ability to borrow is tied to such reductions.

Tuesday’s vote would also allow tea party-backed Republicans to go on record against an increase in the debt ceiling, especially since it won’t be accompanied by big spending cuts that GOP leaders are demanding.

“The reason we are having the vote is to demonstrate there is absolutely no support, or almost no support, for what the administration has been asking for,” said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “If we’re going to raise the debt limit, the administration’s going to have to get very serious about cutting spending.”

Some Democrats, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, have called for a so-called clean increase in the debt limit.

“Republicans are playing with fire by voting against an extension of the debt limit today. I hope that the markets understand a political stunt when they see one,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. “Because, to much of the world, putting the full faith and credit of our nation at risk understandably seems like playing Russian roulette.”